Monday, November 26, 2007

Church Planting & the Doctrine of Election

About once per month I meet with several other church planters from around the country who, like me, have been trained and sponsored by Bethlehem Baptist Church. This network is called "Treasuring Christ Together," or TCT for short. Today is that once per month, and it's my turn to bring the devotional.

As TCT church planters we are required (and gladly so) to embrace Bethlehem's Elder Affirmation of Faith. You can read this Affirmation here. Thus, I was asked to bring a meditation on section three of that affirmation which is entitled God's Purpose and Election. For today I want to post the text of that section (without the substantial footnotes), and then in coming days I hope to summarize my devotional and share a little bit about the interaction with the other pastors.

Please pray for us today, if you're able! I appreciate the partnership.

3. God’s Eternal Purpose and Election

3.1 We believe that God, from all eternity, in order to display the full extent of His glory for the eternal and ever-increasing enjoyment of all who love Him, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His will, freely and unchangeably ordain and foreknow whatever comes to pass.

3.2 We believe that God upholds and governs all things – from galaxies to subatomic particles, from the forces of nature to the movements of nations, and from the public plans of politicians to the secret acts of solitary persons – all in accord with His eternal, all-wise purposes to glorify Himself, yet in such a way that He never sins, nor ever condemns a person unjustly; but that His ordaining and governing all things is compatible with the moral accountability of all persons created in His image.

3.3 We believe that God’s election is an unconditional act of free grace which was given through His Son Christ Jesus before the world began. By this act God chose, before the foundation of the world, those who would be delivered from bondage to sin and brought to repentance and saving faith in His Son Christ Jesus.

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